HBO’s The Last of Us has been widely praised for its acting, plot line and eerily realistic depiction of a zombie fungus found in nature.
But eagle-eyed viewers have noticed two plot holes that defy science.
They both occurred in the fourth episode but have only recently gained traction on social media.
The show takes place in 2023, 20 years after the fatal outbreak occurred, and in episode four, two scenes show the key characters siphoning fuel out of a car, then later dining on a can of Chef Boyardee pasta.
However, gas starts to degrade around three months after production, losing its combustibility due to oxidation and evaporation.
And while canned foods are touted as lasting forever, only low-acid goods, like soups and canned meats, are edible for up to five years.
HBO’s The Last of Us is purely science fiction, but there are scenes in episode four that viewers pointed out that are impossible, including siphoning 20-year-old gas from a car
The first episode takes place in 2003, with the beginning of the outbreak.
Fast forward to 2023, and viewers are now watching the cast navigate an America overrun by fungus-infected humans.
The parasitic Cordyceps infection – inspired by the real-life ophiocordyceps unilateralis – has killed off 60 percent of the world’s population and has four stages, which increasingly cause humans to resemble zombie-like monsters that use echo-location.
It takes over a decade for someone to reach stage four of the infection, where they develop hardened fungal plates, release infectious spores, and are increasingly difficult to kill.
But 14-year-old Ellie Williams is immune to the infection. And Joel Miller is tasked with transporting her out of a Boston quarantine zone to the West Coast, where a cure is being created.
The show is for entertainment, but viewers have pointed out mistakes that defy even the laws of science fiction .
Gasoline degrades over time, breaking down around three to six months
Gas starts to degrade around three months after production, losing its combustibility due to oxidation and evaporation
In the fourth episode, Joel and Ellie drive to the west coast in a 2001 Chevy S10, which gets up to 25 miles per gallon, Jalopnik reports.
Joel explains the pair must stop every hour to siphon more gas from vehicles that have not been used for 20 years.
According to BP, gasoline will last for a year when stored in a sealed container.
In three to six months, it begins to degrade and lose its combustibility due to oxidation and evaporation – but only if the fuel is stored in a sealed metal or plastic container.
Ethanol-gasoline blends, popular in the US, have an even shorter shelf life of two to three months.
Fuel-stabilized gasoline can last up to three years under optimal conditions.
However, the gas stored in vehicle tanks degrades in about one month – and the fuel in the HBO show has been sitting inside a tank for two decades
Twitter users have criticized The Last of Us for its gasoline plot hole, but many people have applauded the show for being the first to acknowledge that gas degrades.
In the fourth episode, Joel and Ellie share a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli
While canned foods are touted as being good forever, many suggest they start to go bad after around 18 months
While the USDA suggests canned pasta can last up to five years, other high-acid foods like tomatoes and fruits should only be stored for up to 18 months
The two share a can of 20-year-old Chef Boyardee ravioli. ‘That guy was good,’ Ellie says while shoveling more pasta into her mouth
Another scene in the fourth episode sees Joel and Ellie eating around a fire in the woods.
The two are sharing a can of 20-year-old Chef Boyardee ravioli.
‘That guy was good,’ Ellie says while shoveling more pasta into her mouth.
The US Department of Agriculture explains that ‘most shelf-stable foods are safe indefinitely’ while noting most canned goods can last for years – but the agency does not state decades.
DailyMail.com has contacted Congra, which owns Chef Boyardee, for comment.
A definitive answer for how long a can of the famous pasta would last is not readily available, though many sources suggest the food is edible 18 to 24 months after the expiration date.
Ron Giles, quality assurance director of Goya Foods, told TODAY.com: ‘Canned foods do not expire on a certain date.
‘One cannot say that canned food is good on one day and not good the next day.’
Dana Gunders, a former food scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council, had a similar opinion.
‘The idea that there’s a magic date when foods all of a sudden “expire” is a myth,’ said Gunders, the executive director of ReFED, a nonprofit committed to ending food waste.
‘I personally would eat anything within 10 years or so of the date its “best by” as long as it looked, smelled and tasted fine.’
While the USDA suggests canned pasta can last up to five years, other high-acid foods like tomatoes and fruits should only be stored for up to 18 months.
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